2003 Shirin Ebadi
: شیرین عبادی - Širin Ebâdi
; born 21 June 1947
) is an Iranian lawyer
, human rights
activist and founder of Centre for the Defence of Human Rights
. On October 10
, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's, children's, and refugee rights. She was the first ever Iranian, and the first Muslim woman to have received the prize.
On October 10 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous efforts for democracy and human rights, especially for the rights of women and children.
The selection committee praised her as a "courageous person" who "has never heeded the threat to her own safety".
Now she travels abroad lecturing in the West. She is against a policy of forced regime change. Her husband, Javad Tavassolian, was an advisor to President Khatami.
The selection of Ebadi by the Norwegian Nobel committee
is thought by some observers in the last few years to represent an implicit criticism of American
policy in the Middle East
, in particular the 2003 Invasion of Iraq
. George W. Bush
has referred to Iran as a member of the axis of evil
The decision of the Nobel committee surprised some observers worldwide - then Pope John Paul II was the bookies' favourite to scoop the prestigious award amid feverish speculation that he was nearing death. Some observers, mostly supporters of Pope John Paul II
, viewed her selection as a calculated and political one, along the lines of the selection of Lech Wałęsa
and Mikhail Gorbachev
, among others, for the Peace Award. They claimed that none of Ebadi's previous activities were directly related to the stated goals for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize, as originally stated by Alfred Nobel
, and that according to the will of Alfred Nobel the prize should have been awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".